“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” — John 16:33
We all face adversity in life and our athletic careers. Maybe it’s discord on your team, a long losing streak, a slump in your performance, an injury, a speeding ticket, a lost job or a struggling relationship. These situations can cause our heads to spin. We ask questions like, “Why is this happening to me, and what can I do?” It can be confusing and unsettling.
God tells us not to be surprised when we experience trials. He warned that difficult times will come, and He instructed us to have hope. God is not surprised by the difficulties we face; He promises to be present with us in the midst of them. And He promises to use our circumstances to make us more like Jesus.
Believe it or not, God teaches us to rejoice in our difficulties. You read that correctly. We are to rejoice because God is at work in our lives. As we struggle through difficult times, God is producing perseverance in us. This perseverance leads to character development, which leads to hope, and hope in Christ does not disappoint (Romans 5:3-5).
Instead of running from or denying our difficulties, we need to allow ourselves to experience and learn from them. We need to lean on Jesus and place our hope in the fact that He is present with us and at work in us. Our adversity has a purpose.
— Karen Zando, Orlando Pride team chaplain
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